Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Court orders NYSC to allow female corps members wear skirts on religious grounds

A Federal High Court in Abakaliki has ordered the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to allow female corps members to wear skirts as part of their official uniform if it aligns with their religious beliefs.

In the judgement delivered on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, a copy of which was seen on Thursday, Honorable Justice H.A. Nganjiwa awarded N5 million in favour of the Applicant, Miss Ufumaka Glory Ukpanken (Corper No. EB/A221514) against the NYSC, its Director General, and the State Coordinator, as general and exemplary damages for the infringement and violation of her fundamental rights.

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The judgement partly read: “That the application is granted as prayed: A DECLARATION is made that

the refusal of the Respondent to recognize and allow skirt as part of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) uniform/kit is a breach of the Applicant’s Fundamental Right as contained, guaranteed

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and protected under Section 38(1) of the 1999 Constitution (As amended) pursuant to the Applicant’s Christian belief, faith and injunction as contained in the Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 22, verse 5 in

the Holy Bible (KJV) and, is a misreading of 2nd Schedule, Article 1 (I)(a) of the NYSC Bye-Laws, 1999.

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Miss Ukpanken had challenged the NYSC’s refusal to recognize and allow skirts as part of the corps uniform, arguing that it violated her fundamental right to freedom of religion and freedom to manifest her Christian faith as enshrined in Section 38(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

In a series of declaratory reliefs, the court ruled that the use of skirts by Miss Ukpanken as her official NYSC uniform forms part of her fundamental rights to freedom of religion and freedom to manifest her beliefs in practice and observance.

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The court also declared that the harassment, embarrassment, humiliation, and disciplinary proceedings instituted against Miss Ukpanken by NYSC agents for wearing a skirt amounted to an infringement of her fundamental rights to freedom of religion, dignity, and freedom from degrading treatment.

Consequently, the court issued several orders, including mandating the NYSC to recognize, allow, and provide skirts for female corps members wishing to exercise their religious rights.


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